Press Release: Top Sixty Young Pioneers Driving Change Across Australia

Press Release: Top Sixty Young Pioneers Driving Change Across Australia

Sixty young people driving social change across the nation have been announced as Australia's next Young Social Pioneers (YSP).

Selected from more than 340 applicants, this year’s Young Social Pioneers have each conceptualised innovative ways to tackle some of society’s biggest challenges ranging from minimising our environmental footprint to enhancing the wellbeing of our communities.

For the next 6 months the Pioneers will enter the Foundation for Young Australians’ (FYA) leading incubator program where they will sharpen their ideas, develop their business and leadership skills, and receive expert mentorship.

At the end of the program, participants will pitch their ventures to other entrepreneurs, philanthropists and business leaders for the opportunity to secure a slice of $70,000 in seed funding to take their project to the next level.

FYA CEO Jan Owen AM, said FYA’s ecosystem of expert alumni and extensive business networks would contribute toward the development of ideas, networks and skills of the 2016 cohort of Young Social Pioneers.

“The number of young people in Australia will increase by 50% by 2050. This diverse and dynamic generation are an untapped national resource of new ideas and perspectives, key to overcoming the social and economic challenges they will inherit,” Ms Owen said.

“We need fresh ideas and new thinking to create a strong future. We can do this by investing in the diversity, ideas and talent of our young people.”

“By growing the ecosystem of innovators, makers, thinkers, doers, dreamers and creators we are establishing a culture where young people pool their knowledge, talents and experience to overcome challenges and explore opportunities.”

There are now 200 changemakers in FYA’s Young Social Pioneers program, making it the largest community of young social entrepreneurs in Australia.

“With ideas ranging from teaching young girls how to code to recycling tennis balls, this year’s cohort is an outstanding example of innovative youth entrepreneurship across Australia.”


Media contact – Shona McPherson 0407 507 580

About YSP
FYA’s Young Social Pioneers program is the nation’s leading social innovation incubator program, aimed at incubating the ideas of young people and building their skills to put their ideas into action.

YSP is Australia’s only fully-subsidised, intensive development program that works with Australia’s best and brightest young changemakers, aged 16 – 29 years, allowing young people to showcase their ideas, foster entrepreneurship and risk-taking, and develop their plans under expert mentorship.

The YSP alumni include social innovators, entrepreneurs and thought leaders from a range of backgrounds, who are passionate about making the world a better place and create change by turning their ideas into action.

The 2016 program has positions for 60 participants across 7 categories. This includes:

Arts and Creative Industries – Supported by Betty Amsden AO, Nelson Meers Foundation, Creative Partnerships Australia
Amy Marks, 20
Domini Marshall, 27
Jemma Nicoll, 25
Katia Nizic, 29
Lena Mackey, 23
Luama Fuller, 24
Luke Tulloch Medigovich, 23
Mia Falstein-Rush, 27
Natalie Wadwell
Steven James Finch, 30

Education – Supported by UBS
Ajay Prakash, 21
Cassie Dewar, 27
Jarred Turner, 20
Rona Gylnn-McDoanld, 20
Victor Zhang, 18
Yohan Dantan, 24
Mikaela Sutherland

Environment – Supported by The Dyson Bequest
Carmen Famularo, 22
Elise Loprete, 22
Liam O’Brien, 20
Matthew Hayes, 22
Nathanael Foo, 29
Nick Peardon, 25
Sam Suendermann, 23

Open – Supported by Mutual Trust
Ariel Hersh, 29
Jessica Bowman, 30
Natalie Klenner, 23
Usman Iftikhar, 26

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) – Supported by PwC
Ally Watson
Christian Williams
Holly Kershaw
Cass Cleever
Andy Barley

Sustainability – Supported by The Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation
Alice Mahar, 29
Dimitri Vidin, 22
Heshan Fernando, 26
Hosna Khaliqy, 26
Jack Scanlan, 24
Joe Duggan, 28
Kelly Pearson, 26
Madeleine Dennis, 24
Nada Kalam, 27
Nipuni Wijewickrema, 23

Youth Mental Health – Supported by The Wilson Foundation
Bliss Cavanagh, 25
Bronwyn Milkins, 25
Caleb Maru, 18
Laura Pintur, 24
Maddison O’Gradey-Lee, 19
Nikolina Mabic,22
Penny Gibson, 28
Rian Smit, 26
Sarah-Jane ward Brumhead, 25
Zoie Carroll, 28


Thank you!

Sorry, something went wrong. Let's try this again.